You will love this recipe for Sangria, even if you don't drink red wine.
Various forms of Sangria have been around for over 2,000 years, so if you've never tried to make it yourself, take the plunge and dive right in. It's summer after all, time to shake things up a bit.
Though widely consumed in Portugal and Spain, it can pair nicely with American favorites like hamburgers, grilled chicken, barbequed ribs or simply with a few appetizers. Iberian cuisine is not necessary, but that's a delicious one to become acquainted with and add to your cooking prowess.
Usually I can't handle red wine in the summer, it's more for cool, fall nights and for warming up a bitter, cold, Chicago winter. In the winter we eat hearty stews, soups and spaghetti that demand red wine.
During the summer we like cooler fare, like seafood, kebabs, sausages, salads, grilled fruit and vegetables and vow never to use the oven until September. All a perfect match for Sangria.
Sangria is a thirst quenching, party-in-a-glass and goes down easy, even if you're steaming hot and sweating in the humid heat of July.
It's so easy, foolproof and flexible. You can't ruin it if you tried. Please don't purchase that Sangria-in-a-bottle already made. We can do better, I promise.
I've been making this recipe for over ten years and the pitcher is always emptied. Quickly. Often I wish I'd made two. Sometimes three.
When you're having people over for a summer cookout or cocktails on the deck, that's the perfect excuse to make this. Made early in the day, once your guests arrive you simply pour, then kick back and relax.
No rushing around at the last minute to set up a bar. It makes entertaining a breeze. How easy is that, and oh, how I love a signature cocktail to welcome guests.
The recipe is in my head, but remember, this is flexible. Use what you have on hand or have a preference for. It's a combination of different recipes I've tried and finally got it the way I like it. The bones of this drink are the easy part.
This Sangria recipe will make eight servings. Maybe less, depending how thirsty you are.
Early in the day, pour a bottle of dry red wine into a pitcher. Use good stuff, not Five Buck Chuck. Add about 1 Cup of dark rum. If you don't have dark rum, use light rum. See, it's flexible. But rum is the secret ingredient to this recipe.
To be bold, add 1/4 Cup of brandy. Don't have brandy? That's ok. Isn't flexibility a wonderful thing?
Now it's time for citrus.
Squeeze the juice of two oranges into the pitcher.
Slice one lime and add to pitcher. (Just to make it look colorful floating in the glass).
Save four slices to garnish later.
Squeeze the juice of two limes into the pitcher.
Squeeze one lemon into mix.
Dice one apple.
Don't have an apple but have a pint of blueberries or blackberries? Add those instead.
What about sliced strawberries or peaches? Of course. Not a problem. See how easy this is? Want to put all of these fruits into your Sangria? Marvelous idea. Why didn't I think of that?
Just remember it's not a fruit salad, it's Sangria. Don't get too carried away.
I also add about 3/4 Cup of juice. Lately it's been a banana, strawberry and orange juice combination you can find in the grocery store. Just your ordinary breakfast juice, whatever you have on hand is fine. Pineapple and mango would be divine.
If you don't drink juice, just squeeze two more oranges into the mixture.
Give it a stir, then cover the top of the pitcher with foil or plastic wrap.
Refrigerate ALL DAY LONG. The longer it steeps, the better.
You only have an hour before your friends arrive? Calm down, it will still taste good.
Just before serving, add one 12 oz. can of Sprite or 7-Up, (diet is okay) or if you don't drink soft drinks, about six ounces of club soda or sparkling water. This just adds a bit of fizz and bubbly.
Pour over ice in wine or old-fashioned glasses. Be sure to spoon a bit of fruit into every glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and fresh mint.
Forgot to get mint at the grocery store? Come on over and help yourself, our garden is teeming with mint.
You may want to serve this with spoons. The boozed soaked fruit is delicious and so tasty. Don't waste it.
1 bottle of dry red wine, dark rum, brandy (optional), two oranges, three limes, one lemon, orange juice, one apple (or any other fruit you love), one can of Sprite, fresh mint, ice.
Pour the liquor into a pitcher. Add the fruit and juices. Stir. Refrigerate all day. Top with Sprite. Pour over ice and garnish as you wish. Serves 4.
This is so refreshing on a hot, summer night under the stars. It will become a staple in your warm weather entertaining.
Cheers and enjoy.
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